ISTANBUL – Turkish government said on Monday that it wanted international air support for its army’s assault on the Daesh-held Syrian town of Al Bab where the military is facing tough resistance from extremists.
Turkish forces have for weeks joined pro-Ankara Syrian rebels in fierce fighting for Al Bab, taking increasing casualties as they approach closer to the centre.
Turkey is part of the US-led coalition against Daesh militants in Syria and lets Western war planes use its Incirlik air base as a hub for air raids.
“As for our operations in Al Bab, the international coalition should assume its responsibilities, especially where air support is concerned,” presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said in televised comments in Ankara.
“The weather conditions can sometimes entail delays,” Kalin acknowledged. “But the absence of air support when there is no valid reason is unacceptable,” he added.
The US and its allies have been conducting their own air strikes against Daesh targets in Syria but there have been no reports of them specifically aiding the Turkish operation.
Turkey at the weekend deployed more tanks and artillery to the border and also has sent 500 elite commandos to Al Bab in readiness for a final fight for the town, reports said. –AFP